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|October 16, 1998||
The big dud
Sujata C J
Debutant writer-director Karan Johar obviously had no standard to go by while making Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. All he has done here is string together theatrical vignettes from a formula film booklet he might have found lying around. The sketchiest of plots -- and very like Hum Aapke Hain Koun at that -- emerges only after the interval. But by then it's too late.
Cliches are piled atop cliches in a mound of aphoristic excess. And so you find lines being repeated about who is the ideal girl to take home to mummy or about falling in love just once in a lifetime.
Carry the formula further. There's one good Muslim, one patriotic song, a few wedding scenes -- we live in the days of painful political correctness. And you'd think the world was keen to break its rules for the loving triangle, be it college or a summer camp for kids.
And so the babe decides to play Cupid. The only hurdle in the way of this marriage is Salman Khan, who is getting uncomfortably close to Anjali, but a skewed horoscope and the kid's manipulation come in handy... And Shah Rukh, for some odd reason, keeps saying Pyar ek hi baar hota hai.
Neelam makes a cameo appearance as the VJ of a TV show. And that makes you think of the pleasures of television, particularly the joys of the remote. Anupam Kher and Farida Jalal are wasted in inconsequential side roles.
Santosh Thundiyil and Sharmishta Roy are the only ones of the crew to deserve congratulations: the first for his brilliant camerawork, especially his overhead and aerial shots; the other for her art direction, wherein she has used bright colours to good effect to lend warmth to the shots.
But of course, their efforts aren't enough to save the film. They have their limitations too. You see, they too are only human...
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